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Allard Comments On Dali


Published: April 8, 2010 3:01 pm ET

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Following a punishing victory in last week’s second leg of the Spring Pacing Championship, Dali will look to duplicate that effort as the 5/2 morning line choice in Saturday night’s $90,000 final at Woodbine Racetrack.

Dali enters the final fresh off a sparkling 1:50.3 victory last Saturday night. In that race, driver Luc Ouellette sent him from third to first in the second quarter and the five-year-old son of Real Artist--Armbro Tea cruised to the two and three-quarter-length win.

Dali--Spring Pacing Championship--Leg 2

The pacer improved on his sixth-place finish in round one of the series when he was returning to action after a month-long absence from the racetrack.

“Yes, he was much better last week and we expected that,” said Dali’s trainer, Rene Allard. “Our goal this year with him is to try to have him fresh for the big races. We gave him a break before this series so I think he’ll be going into this weekend’s final in good shape.”

Dali has been a top-level performer since his first career start back in 2007 when he broke his maiden as a two-year-old with an astounding 1:51.3 win at Mohawk Racetrack.

Since that time, he has gone on to win multiple stakes races like the Woodrow Wilson, Burlington and Matron, while banking just shy of $1.3 million. Amazingly, he’s been able to accomplish this despite dealing with health issues.

“This horse has always had allergy problems throughout his career,” said Allard. “That’s why you see some of his best races have come in the fall and winter. When the weather changes, like it did last week, you’ll sometimes see him get a bit of mucus. We’re trying to keep a very close eye on this and will have to all year long.”

There is certainly no questioning Dali’s heart and more recently he has had to deal with a minor foot issue that was a concern for the trainer entering this series.

“He was developing a bit of a quarter crack a couple of weeks ago,” explained Allard. “Three days before his last race, he had a little blood on the hoof. Frank O'Toole, who is one of the best in the business in dealing with quarter cracks, patched Dali up and he was good last weekend and trained very good for us this week.”

Allard has a carefully mapped-out schedule for Dali this season, which includes stops in most of the sport’s biggest races for older pacers like the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk and William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands.

“Dali is a very fast horse but, because of his allergies and what not, I don’t think he’ll hold up if you race him tough week in and week out,” admitted Allard. “We’re going to try and give him breaks and keep him fresh this year. After this race Saturday, he’ll get a week in the field and probably won’t race again for three or four weeks.”

Dali will start from Post 6 this weekend with regular driver Luc Ouellette listed to drive. The field also includes fellow millionaires Hyperion Hanover, Ramegade Bruiser and Keystone Horatio.

First post for Saturday’s program at Woodbine is 7:30 p.m. To view the field for the SPC, click here.


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